Frames for CHEAP!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Who doesn't need a little more decor for cheap?! 3 bucks and a little love and I had these babies finished! These are the hubby and my initials, which I thought would be fitting for Valentine's or really they could work for any day too. I did the

I bought the frames from the Dollar Tree after seeing this post at Under the Table and Dreaming. I thought they were really cute and for $1 you really can't beat the price!
So I waited til it finally got sunny outside again....(which was probably the longest part!) Whipped out my trusty ol' spray paint and got to work. Did a couple of coats and then sanded around the edges and on some of the detailing. Then I mixed up some Dark Chocolate craft paint from Americana with some water to make more of a runny glaze.I brushed it all over the frame and let it dry for just a bit. Then used a rag and just wiped some of it off. It is probably the easiest thing to do to make it all stand out more.
I printed the letters off of my computer in different fonts and exacto knifed 'em out of the paper. Backed them with scrapbooking paper and they were done. I LoVe how they turned out and they were easy and cheap!! I am thinking of doing some turquoise or maybe even a bright yellow. Apparently those are the "in" colors this year in decorating. I gotta have me some turquoise soon so I am sure I will be posting something...

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Sewing Tips {Fabric}

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Okay, so I haven't forgotten about the menu plan. I am still just deciding what route to go. I have a ton of different ideas and I can't decide which way to go. I know it's not a major permanent decision, but its still a decision that I will have to live with for awhile so I don't want to choose something and wish I had gone another way. So any more ideas about your meal setup (either design wise or how you plan your meals), leave your comments at the post here.

Now onto today's ramblings....

I am currently helping a friend make pillow shams, decorative pillows, etc for a new bedroom set. It is going to be SO dang cute. I can hardly stand waiting for it to all get finished and it isn't even my room!! But as I was helping her and we got talking about sewing, I realized that not everyone knows everything about sewing, ME included!! But I do know a few things that mostly I learned from my Mom. (She is pretty much amazing and always knows how to do things just right with sewing.) I figured that maybe some of you might not know these tips either and I started thinking that maybe I should share some of them and put them in layman's terms. I know most people think patterns are all gibberish talk (cuz a LOT of them are!!). So I will randomly be posting some sewing tips. If there is anything you would like to know about sewing, please let me know about those too. Because if I don't know, I would like to so I will spend the time searching it out and finding out. So leave a comment or email me at funtocraft at gmail dot com and give me your toughest (or maybe easiest would be better!!) sewing questions/concerns.

So here is the sewing tip....

Before you cut your pattern out or you start sewing with ANY of your fabric, you should always wash it first. A lot of fabric shrinks and if you don't wash it, after you cut out your pieces and sew it all together, there will come a time you will wash that fabric and then it will shrink. And whatever it is that you made, will no longer look so great. So ALWAYS, ALwAYs, pre-wash your fabric.

I know, this might be somewhat elementary but we all have to start somewhere. I have some posts to come about grain of fabric and how it affects what you cut out, right side vs wrong side of the fabric, a jean hemming tutorial, and many more. So leave your comments and tell me what else you want to know about sewing, like I said I want to figure it out too. If I don't have the answer, I WILL find it out!! ;)

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The necessities.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

One of my favorite things to do is eat. There I said it. It is now out there. And anything with sugar and I am all over it. Literally. But as much as I enjoy a great cooked meal, I struggle at making menus for our family. I have found that if I have meals planned, we eat "real" meals (as opposed to the frozen, fake kind!) that are so much healthier for us. I go through stages where I try out different ways to stay on top of it. I did freezer meals for a while which worked great when I had a whole Saturday to devote to cooking. I have also compiled a huge list of meal ideas over the last few years to pick and choose from on a whim. I have tried making menus for a month at a time or a week at a time. They all work for a while but then the end of my menu comes and I am no longer motivated to keep going. Where does all of this motivation go? I am hoping I pass it along to one of you because sometimes I feel like it is flying out of here faster than I can catch it! I hope someone is making good use of it!

So I decided to take the big long list of menu ideas I have and my cookbooks and just hash it all out. I came up with an eight week long menu. I figure after 8 weeks, any of the meals could pretty much be repeated because eating something every 8 weeks or so is definitely doable! I picked super easy meals like pancakes, grilled cheese, etc paired with some more complex (or time consuming) meals. That way if I knew ahead of time that the week was going to be busy, I could just plan the easier meals on a day I didn't have as much time. Or if we have plans to go out or not be at home, I will just skip one of the meals for that week. It is such an easy going meal plan that I am bound and determined to make it work. And since I like to incorporate new ideas too, I have a few weeks where I have planned in a new recipe. This will give me the opportunity to try something new and either add it to the menu or throw that recipe away...why keep it if no one likes it right?!

For now, I just have the meal plans written out on two notepad sheets of paper. I plan on "cutesifying" them and also creating a shopping list with every ingredient needed for the week. I am going to put them in sheet protectors and then use erasable markers to go through the list before going to the store and get rid of all of the things I already have on hand. Won't I be Mrs. Organization!! No worries, you haven't seen my pantry lately, have you??!

We are only a couple weeks into this thing, and I am LOvInG it already! What do you do to make a meal plan? Anyone interested in seeing mine? I can post it if anyone wants to see it and/or get some new recipes. So give me your ideas...I am definitely interested in how you make dinners at your house work for you.

Oh yeah, and on the menu for next week:
Cheesy Potato Soup (tastes like its from a restaurant...I can say this because it isn't my recipe), Crepes, Cobb Salad, Grilled Cheese and Fries, Hawaiian Haystacks, Quesadillas, Spaghetti and Ciabatta Garlic Bread

Is your mouth watering yet?? Mine is! I should never write about food when I am hungry. I think I am going to go get something to eat now....

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{Oh, and Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to The Thrifty Home for featuring my Burlap Wreath!! I am always so thrilled to see that other people like my ideas! ;) You can see the feature here.}

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Bottle with a twist

Monday, January 25, 2010

Most of you have probably seen these floating around the web. I swear these things start like wildfires. They are quite possibly the easiest craft I have done lately. But very tedious and time consuming and that is why I wouldn't recommend these for the light-hearted crafter! But I do think the end result makes the whole thing worth it. So maybe even the light hearted ones should join in on the fun!

Take an empty bottle you have around. (I started scouring my fridge for the next one of these I plan to make. I am thinking a square shaped one like an A-1 Sauce or something similar would be cool.)Then take off the wrapper. Tear it, rip it. Whatever. Then use Goo Gone and water. That made this one SO much easier to get rid of!Grab some jute and use either really heavy duty sticky tape (like what they use with carpets) or else use the trusty ol' glue gun. That is what I had around so that is what I used. Just slow and steady is what I recommend. Do a line of glue and then attach the jute. Line of glue, jute. Line of glue, jute. You get it. Seriously, it took me like 3 days to finish this one up. I did it in my "spare" time and could only stand doing it for so long each time before I wanted to chuck it across the room. Well maybe not really, but it isn't the most exciting craft to make.Towards the end though, it starts going faster and you get excited to see how it is going to turn out. Oh, then you could accessorize it with something for the holidays, like a red heart. The nice thing about these is that they seem to go with just about any type of decor. My kind of craft.

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Burlap on the Door

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I wanted a Valentine's wreath. No, I needed one. I just wasn't sure what direction I wanted to go with it. I found a lot of cute ones with ribbons tied on it but I have one just like that for Halloween and I wanted something different. I saw fabric roses or other flower ones but I wasn't really up for that either. I thought about doing a heart shaped one but again, just wanted something a little different. I thought outside the usual circle and went for a square wreath. I absolutely love burlap so I jumped all over this wreath. I wanted mine to be my own version though. So first I decided to use a metal hanger for the frame. Since I tossed out all of my metal hangers years ago I wasn't sure what I was going to do. I thought about who might have one and we stopped off at a dry cleaners. The hubby is such a sweet guy that he went inside and asked if we could buy one hanger from them. They just gave it to him. Score! When I got home and started bending my hanger around into a square shape, I realized I actually needed two hangers to get it the size I wanted. So I went deep into one of my closets and remembered that there was a wire hanger back there. Got that sucker out and starting shaping them. My hubs offered to twist it all nice around together for me with pliers. AHHHhhh! What a guy!Meanwhile, I laid out the burlap and got it all straight and started cutting 4" strips across it. (with the raw or cut edges on the right and left sides and the selvage edges at the top and bottom)Once they were all cut out, I zigzagged the strips back and forth about 3 1/2" wide.Then I just threaded them onto the hanger, which proved to be a lot more time consuming than I originally thought. But I think it was worth it.Once it was all on there, I set it on the ground and worked the burlap around so it was a little more "twisted" in some spots and more evenly spaced out.Then I decided it needed a little more Vday love. I planned to make 2-3 hearts out of felt I already had. I was going to make white and red ones but after doing one white one, I decided it was cuter with just white. I made two the same size. I just free handed cutting them out and then put a little bit of batting in between two of them and did a running stitch with a needle and some embroidery floss to finish them up.
I was going to hang my wreath from the door hanger by my ribbon but it was hanging down too low. So I just put the wreath right up on there and tied the ribbon around the end of the door hanger too. Then I placed the hearts where I wanted them to go and sort of "sewed" them to the hanger to keep them in place. My thought is to be able to change out the decor for different seasons if I want. I may do a shamrock/green theme for St Patty's Day. Who knows. Ignore my ugly door, we are renting so not too much I can do about that. But for now, I love the wreath!

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Capital L-O-V-E

Monday, January 18, 2010

Love is in the air right now or at least it should be with Valentine's coming up and all. I had a few fun ideas to make our place seem a little more lovey dovey this year. I got some chipboard letters at Hobby Lobby (or Hobs Lobs as I like to call them). I got mine to spell love (obviously) but I was thinking you could do xoxo, kiss, smooch, Vday, hugs, etc.I painted the backs and sides of all of the letters. I don't think I really needed to do the backs but I did anyway. If you do, just be sure that it really is the backside of the letter, there are some that aren't really reversible if you mess up.Then snatched up some scrapbook paper and some of this trusty old friend, Mod Podge. I mod podged all of the letters onto the scrapbook paper and let them dry.
Then used some sandpaper to sand off the paper. You could also just cut the paper to fit the chipboard letters but I like the sanded look.
Once those were all done, I drilled some holes into them to attach them. You could also just leave them to sit on a desk, table or shelf, but in my small space, I don't really have those luxuries right now.
Then I just used some coordinating ribbons to tie the letters together.
It is so happy and cheerful looking. I smile whenever I see it. The great thing is that if you don't use "traditional" Valentine's Day colors then you could really use this year round.

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Smoochy Smooch

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Here is a Valentine's Day sign I made last year just out of some scrapbook paper and cardstock, ribbon and printed letters from my computer. It was super easy to make and helped my house have a little bit more of a Valentine's Day feel.
Valentine's can be such a fun holiday not just for couples, but for anyone to remember those that they love. I think it can be made more fun by decorating with more Vday Decor. I still have a few more ideas up my sleeve. So you will have to check out what else I have been up to lately.

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Clothespins

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I am officially on the pin bandwagon. I have another project in store for Vday with some of these. So be on the lookout for more! I do love how you can make them into just about anything...magnets, photo clip, chip clip, invitation holder, place card holder, etc. There are so many fun ways to use these I can't wait to make more!

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Cleaning Tools

Friday, January 8, 2010

I think with the beginning of the year, most of us are thinking about cleaning and organizing. I know I am, or at least I know I should be. It made me remember a gift I made for Christmas for my Mom. It was crocheted dishcloths. This was a really easy pattern too. I wish I could say I am talented enough to come up with this pattern on my own, but nah, I'm not. I found it here.They have a lot of free patterns for different crochet projects all over the web. But sometimes there are also patterns on the underside of the labels of the yarn that turn out great too. I did a Granny Square washcloth that came from the label and now it is one of my favorites. So get cleaning now or crocheting...just do something. Sorry I got carried away. That was really for me. I have not had a whole lot of motivation lately with the hubby out of school and all. But that all ends soon so I am sure I will be pumping out more projects in no time. Sorry I have been a slacker and hopefully I will have some more fun things to inspire you and vice versa.

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A couple of Idaho Russets

Saturday, January 2, 2010

If you haven't seen these around the web yet, you might just not be as obsessed as I am at looking at craft blogs. These were one of the must have gifts that I knew I would be making my kids for Christmas. I also knew it was going to be time consuming which is why I think I put it off until Christmas Eve. I think I will never do that again. I am not a procrastinator normally and it just doesn't sit well with me.

So anyway, Ashley has a great tutorial for these cute little friends on her blog and then Jessica added another spin to them that you might like. Go check them out!

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A Holiday Break

Sorry I have been a little MIA for the last week. I know we all have been busy with the holidays and I am no exception to that. I have been spending time with my hubby while he is on a break from school. So posts may still be a little lacking for the next week or so. I apologize but the craftiness is heading our way. I already have a ton of cute ideas for projects this year, including a few Valentine's Day things. Can you believe we can already start thinking about V Day? So crazy how quickly time goes.

Happy New Year and I can't wait to get more fun crafty projects going this year...maybe that should be a resolution of mine. I am sure its one I could actually do!!

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